Author: Holly Black
Publication Date: 4/3/12
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Blurb(GR): Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.
But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.
I was very indifferent about Red Glove – I didn’t hate it and I didn’t love it. But I am happy to say that with this third book in the series my original enthusiasm has returned. (Is it a trilogy? The door is left open just a crack at the end and I have to say that now I’m hoping for more!)
Everything that bothered me about Red Glove seems to be explained and/or remedied in this book. Cassel’s constant fretting over his Wallingford Academy performance, which I originally suffered through just waiting to get to the good stuff (ie, cons, crimes, and double-crosses), now seems to make a lot more sense. This book delves more into Cassel’s guilt and his struggle to make the “right” choices. Now his desire to maintain good grades and adhere to Wallingford’s policies seems like a simple extension of his desire to be “good” and “normal,”which I must say I didn’t fully comprehend before.
I also felt that Cassel was a lot clueless in Red Glove, ignoring obvious hints and making foolish decisions. But, I couldn’t be happier to report that he seems craftier than ever in this volume. The Cassel that I glimpsed at the end of White Cat – one step ahead of everyone – is back for the entire book. And he’s hilarious. I don’t remember laughing so much in either one of the other books.
I was also really impressed by the depth given in this book to the curse-worker plight – something that was touched on in the previous books but not fully explored. Here we get to see the full extent of this world and all the dangers it holds for new curse-workers. The parallels to real-world bigotry, hate crimes, and human trafficking are evident and make that aspect of the book even more heartbreaking.
The romance stays safely away from dramatic angst territory and is very nicely done; although I must say that I didn’t feel too invested in it. It’s light and enjoyable and I did feel some small emotion for them, but I never felt gripped by it.
But in the end, that’s just not what this book is. It's not a dark, serious read. It’s a funny, twisty adventure with a great male lead and little hints of darkness. The ending of this book is absolutely perfect; it’s everything that I wished for. So if you love this series, rest assured that it ends on a high note. If you’re new to this series – it’s good all the way through. Time to get started!
Perfect Musical Pairing
The Dears – Whites Only Party